Paying attention (or not)

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A simple case of not paying attention could have ruined a recent project. I didn’t, but it was still a lesson learned.

I finished something nice for my daughter for Christmas two weeks ago. It might ruin the surprise to say what it is or post a photo, of course, but for the sake of this blog I can say it’s made with some really nice figured maple.

It turned out perfect, or nearly so, depending on your point of view. See, while making it I paid no attention whatsoever to the direction of the figuring. Normally when I use figured wood I take the figure direction into consideration. This time, though, I didn’t and I’m not sure why. Maybe I was in a hurry to get it done so the finish would be fully cured by Christmas, or maybe it’s because a certain part of it was kind of dicey to get right and I was concentrating on that. Don’t know.

In any event, the figure on one portion doesn’t go the same way as on another, and I didn’t even notice till just the other day. I’ve shown it to lots of people and nobody else has noticed it either. Well, almost nobody.

One person I showed it to did notice, and singled it out as something he liked. Naturally, I took full credit for doing it that way, even though I wasn’t even aware of it till he pointed it out.

On the one hand I’m kicking myself for not paying attention to something I would rather have done differently. On the other hand, the only person who’s noticed it assumed it was intentional – and liked it.

So the lesson I learned was twofold. First, I’ve obviously got to pay attention in the future.

But the other is that tastes vary, and you can never predict what someone will like.

A.J.

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